Marking its 7th year, events have ranged from large scale parades to simple community events, but the main focus of attention was at the National Event in Guildford, attended by His Royal Highness The Duke of York.
Thousands of people across the country celebrated the men and women of the Armed Forces, past and present, at more than 150 events to mark the seventh annual Armed Forces Day. Events ranged from large scale parades to simple community events, but the main focus of attention was at the National Event in Guildford, attended by His Royal Highnesses The Duke of York and the Prime Minister David Cameron. The Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon and the Worshipful Mayor of Guildford Nikki Nelson-Smith also attended. The days celebrations began with a thanksgiving service at Guildford Cathedral, followed by a parade of more than 900 Service personnel, veterans and cadets through the historic heart of Guildford from the High Street to the outdoor events arena, Stoke Park. The Duke of York took the salute on the parade route on behalf of The Queen and Royal Family, as the world famous Red Arrows roared over the square in tribute. Afternoon celebrations continued Stoke Park with a variety of military displays including a Royal Air Force GR4 Tornado flypast. Visitors also enjoyed a Sea King search and rescue demonstration, Spitfires and Hurricaines from the RAF Battle of Britain memorial Flight and a Swordfish biplane from the Royal Navy Historic Flight. In addition, crowds of an estimated 60,000 were treated to three parachute displays from the Royal Navy Raiders, the Army Red Devils and the RAF Falcons, as well as the Royal Signals White Helmet motorbike display team on the ground. The Red Arrows took to the skies again as the military celebrations drew to a close accompanied by a tri-service group of military bands made of Her Majestys Royal Marines, Portsmouth, the Band of the Grenadier Guards, and the Central Band of the Royal Air Force.
The Prime Minister David Cameron was also at the celebrations in Guildford. He said; Today, we celebrate our brave servicemen and women who work so hard to keep our country safe. It’s only right that once they leave the Forces, we give them the support they need to find a job.
“We also have a responsibility to our reservists and the families of our military personnel for the sacrifices they make. So for the first time we will help them to find work too. And today we are also calling on the private sector to play its part – by signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant to help reservists and veterans into work.
“I want everyone to have the security of a job and the opportunity to get on in life – and we particularly owe support to our veterans, their partners, and reservists.
Other guests included the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, the Worshipful Mayor of Guildford Nikki Nelson-Smith and Defence Ministers Penny Mordaunt and Julian Brazier.